Two people meeting Weeklyone-on-one meetings between workers and their managers has thepotential to benefit the entire organization.

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For Gen Z workers, weekly one-on-one meetings with their managerthat include emotional check-ins make all the difference in theworld, according to 15Five's report, "TheNext Generation Workplace."

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"Not everyone is comfortable discussing mental and emotional health, andnowhere is the comfort gap felt more than between the variousgenerations of workers," the authors write. "The current workplacerepresents a melting pot of Gen Zers, baby boomers and millennials— which is a beautiful thing for a collaborative, evolvingworkplace. But these differences also have the tendency to stallmore intimate one-on-one discussions."

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Related: Employers' mental health strategies coming into thespotlight

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15Five surveyed 1,000 full-time U.S. workers and found that 75percent of Gen Zers have asked for personal advice during aone-on-one with their manager, while only 23 percent of babyboomers have done the same.

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"Mental and emotional health can be uncomfortable topics ingeneral, but even more so for those who are unsure how to broachthe subject or are unfamiliar with the appropriate languagesurrounding it," the authors write. "Without proper training andguidance on how to discuss these sensitive topics, some might findit easier not to talk about them at all."

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15Five also surveyed 500 managers and found that more than aquarter of the managers who received no training prior to taking ona leadership role say they never or very rarely ask about theirdirect reports' emotional health. This is 10 percentage pointshigher than managers who said they received at least some training.However, 79 percent of all of the managers surveyed say they wantmore managerial and leadership training.

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"Genuine conversations and consistent human connection have thepower to bridge gaps — whether they are educational, generationalor hierarchical," the authors write. "But there's a fine linebetween engaging with employees regularly and micromanaging. Ahealthy routine of communication facilitates transparency, andgarners trust and honesty from both parties. Without those twotraits, conversations and one-on-ones can't include discussionsabout mental and emotional health, let alone job dissatisfactionand performance issues."

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For employees who have at least weekly check-ins, 73 percent areextremely confident in their managers' ability as leaders; 84percent are always honest with their manager; 56 percent thinktheir one-on-ones are very productive and useful; 58 percent haveasked for personal advice during a one-on-one; 61 percent say theirmanagers are extremely open to suggestions; and 52 percent usetheir companies' employee assistance programs.

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On the other hand, for employees with less than weeklycheck-ins, 41 percent are extremely confident in their managers'ability as leaders; 58 percent are always honest with theirmanager; 29 percent think their one-on-ones are very productive anduseful; 29 percent have asked for personal advice during aone-on-one; 27 percent say their managers are extremely open tosuggestions; and 28 percent use their companies' employeeassistance programs.

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Weekly one-on-one meetings between workers and their managersalso benefits the entire organization, according to the surveyresults.

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"The ROI speaks for itself: 50 percent of employees who havevery productive and useful one-on-ones plan to stay at theirorganizations for five or more years," the authors write. "In otherwords, supporting the whole employee is an incredible retentiontool. Not only do supported, engaged and happy employees contributeto a positive, human-centric work culture, but their supporttrickles down to the customer experience."

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15Five recommends that employers follow a one-on-onechecklist:

  • Establish a regular cadence. Make sure that conversations areconsistent. Try 30 minutes once a week to start.
  • Encourage two-way communication. Discussions are only effectivewhen both parties are engaged and participatory.
  • Prepare an agenda use time effectively by having a concept ofthe conversation flow before meeting.
  • Do your homework. Come with talking points, objectives andpriorities gathered from the previous week.
  • Begin by touching base. Get a pulse on how both of you arefeeling. Building trust will encourage honesty.
  • End with action items. Assemble key takeaways from theconversation as objectives for the next one-on-one.

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